14 Sep 2009

Hawaiian Airlines pilots vote to authorise strike

10:18 am on 14 September 2009

Pilots working for Hawaiian Airlines have voted to authorise a strike, although no walkout is imminent.

The Hawaiian Airlines branch of the Air Line Pilots Association says 98 percent of its 400 pilots authorized a strike.

The pilots are negotiating with the airline, and talks run by a federal mediator are planned for next month in Washington.

It's common for airline unions to authorise a strike during negotiations.

However, federal labor rules say they can't actually walk off the job unless they are released by the mediator.

Contract talks have been going on for two years.

The union says there has never been a strike in the 80-year history of Hawaiian Airlines.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Air spokesman, Keoni Wagner, has said that any strike will not affect the airlines' operations.